SUS04-BP02 Use technologies that support data access and storage patterns - AWS Well-Architected Framework

SUS04-BP02 Use technologies that support data access and storage patterns

Use storage technologies that best support how your data is accessed and stored to minimize the resources provisioned while supporting your workload.

Common anti-patterns:

  • You assume that all workloads have similar data storage and access patterns.

  • You only use one tier of storage, assuming all workloads fit within that tier.

  • You assume that data access patterns will stay consistent over time.

Benefits of establishing this best practice: Selecting and optimizing your storage technologies based on data access and storage patterns will help you reduce the required cloud resources to meet your business needs and improve the overall efficiency of cloud workload.

Level of risk exposed if this best practice is not established: Low

Implementation guidance

Select the storage solution that aligns best to your access patterns, or consider changing your access patterns to align with the storage solution to maximize performance efficiency.

Implementation steps

  • Evaluate your data characteristics and access pattern to collect the key characteristics of your storage needs. Key characteristics to consider include:

    • Data type: structured, semi-structured, unstructured

    • Data growth: bounded, unbounded

    • Data durability: persistent, ephemeral, transient

    • Access patterns: reads or writes, frequency, spiky, or consistent

  • Migrate data to the appropriate storage technology that supports your data characteristics and access pattern. Here are some examples of AWS storage technologies and their key characteristics:

    Type Technology Key characteristics

    Object storage

    Amazon S3

    An object storage service with unlimited scalability, high availability, and multiple options for accessibility. Transferring and accessing objects in and out of Amazon S3 can use a service, such as Transfer Acceleration or Access Points, to support your location, security needs, and access patterns.

    Archiving storage

    Amazon S3 Glacier

    Storage class of Amazon S3 built for data-archiving.

    Shared file system

    Amazon Elastic File System (Amazon EFS)

    Mountable file system that can be accessed by multiple types of compute solutions. Amazon EFS automatically grows and shrinks storage and is performance-optimized to deliver consistent low latencies.

    Shared file system

    Amazon FSx

    Built on the latest AWS compute solutions to support four commonly used file systems: NetApp ONTAP, OpenZFS, Windows File Server, and Lustre. Amazon FSx latency, throughput, and IOPS vary per file system and should be considered when selecting the right file system for your workload needs.

    Block storage

    Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS)

    Scalable, high-performance block-storage service designed for Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2). Amazon EBS includes SSD-backed storage for transactional, IOPS-intensive workloads and HDD-backed storage for throughput-intensive workloads.

    Relational database

    Amazon Aurora, Amazon RDS, Amazon Redshift

    Designed to support ACID (atomicity, consistency, isolation, durability) transactions and maintain referential integrity and strong data consistency. Many traditional applications, enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), and ecommerce systems use relational databases to store their data.

    Key-value database

    Amazon DynamoDB

    Optimized for common access patterns, typically to store and retrieve large volumes of data. High-traffic web apps, ecommerce systems, and gaming applications are typical use-cases for key-value databases.

  • For storage systems that are a fixed size, such as Amazon EBS or Amazon FSx, monitor the available storage space and automate storage allocation on reaching a threshold. You can leverage Amazon CloudWatch to collect and analyze different metrics for Amazon EBS and Amazon FSx.

  • Amazon S3 Storage Classes can be configured at the object level and a single bucket can contain objects stored across all of the storage classes.

  • You can also use Amazon S3 Lifecycle policies to automatically transition objects between storage classes or remove data without any application changes. In general, you have to make a trade-off between resource efficiency, access latency, and reliability when considering these storage mechanisms.


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